With the 2014 NFL Draft season starting to get into gear, I thought it would be intriguing to shed some light on a very solid prospect from this upcoming draft class. That if Gettleman and company were high enough on, could be that X factor that could end up being an absolute monstrous addition to this football team.
Calvin Pryor - Free Safety, Louisville.
When the 28th pick comes up for Carolina could Dave Gettleman and Ron Rivera go in a different direction than most of us (if not all) here on CSR have clamored for, in either addressing the WR, OL, or CB positions with the teams first pick this year. I say absolutely to this idea if the team goes with the BPA over all else. Pryor is currently listed as one of the top two free safety prospects in this years draft (Hasean Clinton-Dix being the other) and is sporting a first round grade at the moment. Not to mention he stands in at 6' 2" and weighs in at 208 pounds (size matters to Getts). It is a hypothetical possibility that when the Panthers go on the clock that the top 3 wide receivers, top 3 offensive lineman, and top 3 cornerbacks that they had on their own draft board could all have been selected by that point. So in turn could they look at taking one of the best free safeties in this draft to put in the secondary. I say it is very much in the realm of a possibility when going in the direction of BPA at that point.
Here is an overview I pulled off NFL.com.
Pryor might be the most physical football player in the entire draft. Against the run, he is very quick to diagnose and he explodes to the alley. He takes correct angles and he doesn't need to gear down before securing the tackle. He uncoils his hips on contact and he's produced several impressive hits this season. Against the pass, he has the instincts and ball skills to play over the top, and he has enough speed/agility to match up in man coverage. He's a complete safety.
I remember when the Panthers were going through last seasons draft process that they vetted not only Kenny Vaccaro but also Jonathan Cyprien very hard and showed a lot of interest in the safety position. Vaccaro was taken with the 15th pick right after our very own Star Lotulelei and Cyprien with the first pick in the second round no. 33 overall.
I don't know if Gettleman will value the safety position that high in this years draft. With the emergence of Mike Mitchell, Robert Lester and Quintin Mikell all coming in last season and producing it might devalue to some degree that position. But in all fairness Mikell and Mitchell are both on just one year deals and with Charles Godfrey coming off a major injury and his current contract situation who knows how all that will shake out.